There are all kinds of stains from ketchup and red wine, to pet pee and grease. But most conventional stain removers contain toxic chemicals. Here are a few tips to naturally remove stains, and then we list the best natural stain removers on the market. Above is Minmal Baking Soda (see below for how to use). Although Borax is sometimes suggested to naturally remove stains, it’s irritating and can harm if ingested, and should never be used near pets.
Tips to Remove Stains (naturally)
Keep all these away from pets and young children.
- White vinegar (not the stuff you put on your chips!) is a good natural stain remover, which contains acetic acid (that can also remove odours). Do not use on stone, marble or granite. For spot treatments, pout directly onto the stain and let it soak (or rub in).
For laundry stains, mix 50/50 with water then treat with laundry soap and water. Don’t put in the dryer until the stain is removed.
- Baking soda (not food grade) is a natural stain remover that can also remove odours. The mild alkaline PH means it’s safe for most clothing. Mix 6 tablespoons with 1/3 cup of warm water to make a paste, rub in and wait until the stain lifts out (at least 15 minutes).
- Lemon juice can naturally lighten stains, due to natural bleach. Do not use any citrus fruits near cats.
- Hydrogen peroxide is a better alternative to bleach, and can remove red wine, curry and yellow shirts from deodorants.
- To remove ketchup stains, mix 1/2 tablespoon of dish soap with 1 cup of cold water. Gently dab with a sponge, rinse with cold water, and keep going until it’s gone.
- To remove greasy stains, apply baking powder (or cornstarch) and leave it overnight. Next morning, brush it off and repeat if needed. For any remaining, use a small amount of dish-soap.
- For pet pee stains, soak up what you can with towels and cover with a thick layer of newspaper. Mix one cup of white vinegar and one cup of water, with 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Shake to mix, then spray on and let it sit for a few minutes. Blot with towels until the stain is gone. For stubborn stains, it’s best to get a carpet cleaner (cheaper than messing it up yourself!) Steam cleaners are not good, as they can set/bond stains and odours.
Dropped Red Wine On Your Carpet?
It happens. Carpet cleaning companies say not to use salt (sometimes suggested) as it can set the stain permanently. Molly Maid suggests this to blot the stain with a clean dry cloth and pour on club soda, then keep going until the stain is gone. If you don’t have club soda, then mix 1 tablespoon of dish-wash soap and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to two cups of warm water, then apply with a white cloth onto the stain, blotting often until the stain is gone.
The Best Natural Stain Removers
Living Naturally Stain Remover Bar is made with soap nuts (biodegradable) but don’t put soap nuts on compost heaps, as the ingredients could harm garden friends like ladybirds – just bin to naturally break down. Good for stubborn stains, it’s safe for clothing and skin, and made from organic tree fruits that contain real soap. Use for grass stains, red wine, ketchup, blood, grease, collars and cuffs and wash stubborn stains away. Contains the fresh clean scent of natural eucalyptus and the deodorising power of litsea.
Moisten the fabric and apply wet bar direct to stain to create suds on both sides of the fabric, then wash as directed. For carpets and upholstery, wet bar and rub onto a sponge, apply direct on stain, remove excess suds with a damp cloth and allow to dry. Made in the UK and packaged in a paper sleeve.
Removing Menstrual Blood (naturally)
Whether you use disposable or zero waste feminine care products, occasionally you may find that you need to remove blood stains. This is easy to do using natural products, and it means less waste, as you don’t have to throw out old undies.
First of all, rinse the item under flowing cold water to dissolve any blood, then mix in with a little biodegradable soap to wash by hand. A little lemon juice can often bleach stubborn stains (use the juice of a whole lemon and soak in a sink of cold water, before laundering in the machine). Alternatively, soak the garment in a bowl of equal parts water and white vinegar. Or try mixing 1 part water to 2 parts baking soda, then soak in the ink for 30 minutes.
Remüvie™ Intimate Stain Remover tackles all leaks and blood stains with ease, and is a gentle plant-based alternative to toxic laundry products. Fragrance-free and fast-acting, it’s also easy to use. The bottle (not lid) is made from 100% recycled ocean plastic.